In our weekly place to talk about mental health and general wellbeing, this time we’re having a natter about trying to offset boredom in current times.

Hello and welcome to Wellbeing Matters, our weekly spot to have a natter. This week, let’s step outside of reality and take a look at the small things that are putting smiles on our faces, be it films, music, books or a good old splurge on something daft.

Recently I found myself wandering around the house at 2am. I tuned in to an episode of the X-Files. It was like a warm blanket on a cold day, a fluffy pair of spooky socks giving instant comfort. Cue a sudden need to re-watch the entire run (available on Amazon Prime UK right now). I can feel a Xena: Warrior Princess vibe catching me next. And perhaps a bit of Gabrielle cosplay while watching.

That retro vibe was contagious. There was a low day, when our spirits had flatlined and we watched the wonderful, nostalgic joy that is Blinded By The Light (read the Film Stories review here ).

It’s fair to say that this is a distraction technique, from all the awfulness that’s going on in the world. But there is solace to be found, and it can appear in the oddest of spaces. I’ve noticed a trend towards retro purchases going about my social media timeline. I’m fighting the urge to invest in an X-Files T-shirt. The truth is out there, but comes with a hefty price tag!

On the reading front, I dug out a pile of retro trade paperbacks and have been thoroughly enjoying the original Mother of Dragons, Anne McCaffrey. I hunted out my X-Files companion books that I’ve been hoarding for about for over 20 years, enjoying revisiting the backstories to the episodes, and their basis in weird fact.

What have you found yourself enjoying? Have you been streaming new or old material, what is helping you through these long days (and nights)? Have you dug out old treasures from your attic, set up a retro games console?

Have you made any odd or geeky purchases? I treated myself to a Fortean Times subscription and a velvet handbag, the latter being of no use whatsoever during lockdown! But it brings me joy as a small cost, an inkling of better times to come.

Recommend something to us that we might have forgotten about, just as I’d forgotten how exquisite the vocal interplay between Mulder and Scully was, and how it influenced a number of series that came afterwards. A film, a series, a book.

Most of all, take care of yourselves. Find something that brings you that little spark of joy, that glow of contentment. It isn’t easy. There will be days when the careful constructs of normality we have surrounded ourselves with will buckle and let the rain in. Have a little backup distraction plan for when you find yourself wandering about in the still of the night.

Take care, and thanks, as always, for reading.

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